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A comparative analysis of the photobiology of Zooxanthellae and Zoochlorellae symbiotic with the temperate clonal anemone Anthopleura elegantissima (Brandt) I. Effect of temperature
Verde, E.A.; McCloskey, L.R. (2001). A comparative analysis of the photobiology of Zooxanthellae and Zoochlorellae symbiotic with the temperate clonal anemone Anthopleura elegantissima (Brandt) I. Effect of temperature. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 138(3): 477-489. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s002270000490
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Verde, E.A.
  • McCloskey, L.R.

Abstract
    Throughout its geographic range, the temperate-zone anemone Anthopleura elegantissima is the host of one or both of two distinctively different symbiotic microalgae: a dinoflagellate Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae, ZX) and a chlorophyte (zoochlorellae, ZC). Given the broad vertical intertidal and latitudinal range of this anemone, we investigated the role of temperature in determining whether A. elegantissima supports one algal symbiont over the other and whether temperature regulates the observed distributions of natural populations of ZX and ZC. Temperature appears to be a key factor in regulating both the photophysiology and metabolism of this algal–cnidarian association. In anemones containing ZX, neither algal densities nor chlorophyll content varied with temperature (6–24?°C); in contrast, anemones with ZC displayed reduced densities and chlorophyll content at the highest temperature treatment (24?°C). Both ZX and ZC photosynthetic rates were directly related to temperature, as were anemone respiration rates. The higher photosynthetic rates, maintenance of a stable algal density and chlorophyll content, and higher potential contribution of algal carbon toward animal respiration (CZAR) suggest that the ZX are the more viable symbiont as temperature increases, but we suggest alternative reasons why ZC are preserved in this symbiotic association. Elevated temperatures reduce ZC densities and chlorophyll, suggesting that higher temperatures affect this relationship in a negative fashion, presumably due to a higher cost of maintaining ZC by the association; alternatively, these costs may be affiliated with the deterioration of the ZC themselves. These results suggest that temperature may be one of the most significant environmental parameters that sets the intertidal microhabitat and latitudinal distribution patterns of the two algal taxa observed in the field.

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